Google’s Internet Balloon And Deliver Drone Projects Are Graduating to The Big Time

Loon and Wing, two research projects developed within the secretive X research facility, are becoming standalone businesses within Alphabet, Google’s parent company announced Wednesday.


Loon releases massive balloons into the stratosphere carrying the gear needed to supply people in rural communities with an internet connection. Wing seeks to develop the means to deliver goods to people via drones.

Alphabet said the companies’ financial performance would be included in Alphabet’s earnings statement under the “Other Bets” category.

Neither company has shown any sign of adding significant revenue to Alphabet’s bottom line anytime soon, but that’s not the point. Google’s management created X to nurture big ideas with an eye toward changing the world.

Whether Loon or Wing can help in that endeavour remains to be seen.

But X has seen some success. One of its other graduates, Waymo, is an autonomous-car business that analysts believe could change the world while enabling Alphabet to pocket enormous profits.

The RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney said in a report on Tuesday that because Waymo is so far out in front of competitors in the burgeoning self-driving-car market, he expected that investors could soon bid up Alphabet shares.

He also estimated that Waymo could see operating profits of much as US$35 billion by 2030.

/Beyond is ScienceAlert’s new section covering the wider world of gadgets, games, and digital culture.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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